Is ‘Modern Love’ Only for White Women?

The omission of women of color as love interests in the new Amazon series is more than an oversight

Nylah Burton
ZORA
Published in
8 min readOct 24, 2019

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Credit: Amazon Studios

TThe Amazon Prime series Modern Love (based on the popular eponymous New York Times column) was released on October 17. White women gushed on social media, saying the show made them cry, and that these depictions of love were so moving, so beautifully human, so modern.

After watching the show, I cried too—longer and harder than I care to admit. But I cried because, as a Black woman, the show made me feel anything but romantic. With its total exclusion of Black, brown, and Indigenous women as love interests, I felt invisible and dehumanized. Modern Love was incredibly traumatizing to watch, reminding me of all the gendered violence and dismissal I’ve faced in my life.

Not one woman of color was a love interest. Instead, they fulfilled support roles for White women and men of color. If one were to take Modern Love’s word for it, women of color in New York City don’t experience romance or desire. They’re merely therapists, domestic workers, and ever-patient maternal friends.

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